Tatiana Cameron left a thriving pop music career in Croatia to find God. Cameron was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and came from a musical family, singing and performing from an early age.
At 19, she sang at a Eurovision singing contest and won. Suddenly, she went from being a regular teenager to a pop star.
“The Eurovision contest, it was all famous people,” Cameron said. “Each county picked their best song and it was presented by the most popular singer. I was sent from a record company, and I was an unknown.”
She soon found out that fame was not all that she had imagined. The next two years, Cameron’s life became a blur of concerts, appearances and recordings.
“It happened very fast,” she explained. “It was such a huge, intense thing. It was so overwhelming I couldn’t breathe to collect my thoughts.”
Behind her public persona, Cameron felt depressed and isolated; yet felt she could not tell anyone.
“This industry was built around me,” she said, “but nobody wanted to hear that I was a regular girl with problems.”
A high school friend of Cameron’s saw her depression and reached out to her, inviting Cameron to meet her friends, all young people of faith.
“It was an informal thing — just young people coming together,” Cameron said. “They were different than those in the industry. Their success was on the inside and they had peace. They wanted to reach the person inside me. They didn’t care about my status.”
It was through this group that Cameron was introduced to God.
“I had been taught there was no God,” she said. “I needed a miracle to say there was a God. I needed deep help though, and I was lonely. I found really good friends there, and I felt accepted.”
On her 21st birthday, Cameron was scheduled to sing at a small chapel. She was uncharacteristically nervous because she wanted to sing to God, not just the people there.
“When non-believers are searching for God, it comes with fear,” Cameron said. “You don’t want to be disappointed that God isn’t there.”
She sang a song, which translated into English is called, “Lord, You Have Come to the Seashore.” It was during this song about Jesus calling Peter to leave his boat and follow him that Cameron found God personally.
“As I sang those words, I felt what I had never felt before,” she said. “There was real movement in my soul and life made sense. I was enveloped in love.”
The song talked about leaving everything behind, and Cameron decided that was what she needed to do, too. While her management and production team did not take the news well, her parents were very supportive.
So at 21, leaving all of her fame and fortune behind her, Cameron came to the United States. She studied musical theater in New York and learned English. She began to land roles in musical theater productions and also began singing at various events. As she grew in her faith, Cameron began to write and sing about her spiritual experiences, as well.
When she met and married her husband Matthew Cameron 13 years ago, they began to develop a unique narrative concert that blended Cameron’s singing and musical theater experience. Today, they travel as a family with their three sons, ages 12 to 7, throughout the country giving concerts wherever they are invited. Her sons also sing with her on stage.
“Some call the narrative concerts a musical drama,” she said. “I like to call it a concert experience. When it begins, it is like a story. I will pull you in and really take you to Jerusalem through music as if you are watching a movie. We do no visuals. It’s just us standing and praying.”
Cameron has three main narrative concerts. “Let it Be,” tells the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. “Emmanuel” is the story of Jesus coming to earth as a baby, and “I Thirst” tells the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.
While the waiting list for Cameron’s performances is long, she does her concerts for free. Her ministry is supported primarily through individual donors and the sales of her CDs and DVDs. The biggest challenge though is her concerts do not fit neatly into an existing niche.
“We are really treading new territory,” she said. “We are working very hard in a non-existent ministry. The Catholic church really doesn’t have a network for ministry, so we are trying to contribute and build for other artists and ourselves.”
Despite the challenges of breaking new ground and living life on the road with young children, Cameron finds her ministry fulfilling in ways her previous fame was not.
“It’s very rewarding,” she said, “to know we’ve touched someone’s life and they’ve felt the movement of God in their hearts.”